Australia's most highly decorated chaplain in World War I, Walter Ernest Dexter, was honoured at a special commemoration service in Victoria last week.

The English-born Rev Dexter won a Distinguished Conduct Medal as a mounted British trooper in the Boer War and later, as chaplain with the Australian Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions at Gallipoli and the Military Cross for his gallantry under fire on the Western Front.

The service, which was held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Lara, near Geelong, marked 100 years since Rev Dexter left Gallipoli. Rev Dexter, who migrated to Australia in 1910 following his ordination as an Anglican minister in England, was among the first ashore at Gallipoli, having previously served at the Broadmeadows training camp in Melbourne where, from September, 1914, he provided counsel to the newly arrived volunteers.

He was the only Australian Army chaplain of any denomination to serve continuously throughout World War I during which he was wounded six times.

He apparently left his mark on the Gallipoli Peninsula, planting wattle seeds at cemeteries during his last days there. So it was only fitting that a wattle tree was planted in his honour at Friday's ceremony, which was attended by Philip Freier, Anglican archbishop of Melbourne as well as Mick Dexter, one of Rev Dexter's five sons - all of whom served in World War II, and his daughter Lady Geraldine Currie.